Our garden contains an eclectic mix of things.  It started as nine herbal seedlings purchased from someone with a gorgeous plot of herbs and
a hand-lettered sign.  But my husband, the gardening equivalent of Tim the Toolman Taylor, felt the need to expand our potted paradise into a PROJECT involving a wagon wheel design, backbreaking labor, gravel, sand, rustic brick walkways, etc.  Through experimentation, we learned what will thrive here:  weeds, oregano, echinacea, white sage, rhubarb, tomatoes, hot peppers, squashes disguised as melons.  The Kiwis were an impulse buy, I admit, but we’re fond of exotic fruit trees, and Lowe’s garden centers wouldn’t sell them in Ohio if they couldn’t survive here, right?  The Chicago hardy fig from QVC is living proof – it has wintered over well and bears amazing fruit in years when the growing season is long.  So, He-Kiwi and She-Kiwi are healthy and leafy and gorgeous, but their interest in hooking up with each other (or even exchanging phone numbers) is zip, zilch, nada.  The rest of the garden, however, is a Dirty Dancing extravaganza.  And Free Love calls for Free Verse, does it not?


Who knew that Kiwi trees
are not self-pollinators
but He-Kiwis and She-Kiwis?
Into the cart, one of each,
a blind date hastily arranged
in the garden center aisle

Seven years of proximity
have resulted in nothing but
a maddening fruitlessness
Across the arbor, we shackle
their magenta-veined palms
in a Bonsai-style romance

A picture-perfect twosome
schooled by birds and bees
yet chaste as brother and sister
until the sparks start flying…
I find her tendril under a fig leaf
fondling its hanging fruit

He is more promiscuous,
feeling up the black currant bush
and caressing a frond of asparagus
while leaning sideways to grope
the ample bosom of a carmine rose
bedecked in tiny pearls of dew

If attraction could be conjured,
I would be cooing over Grand-Kiwis
Instead, I ponder hybrid oddities,
grapples and pluots and tangelos,
picturing how they came to be,
the love children of sly passions

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14 thoughts on “NOTES FROM CHEMISTRY 101

  1. Tippy Gnu August 6, 2017 / 8:03 am

    Sounds like quite a garden of temptation. Better not turn your back on that He-Kiwi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan August 6, 2017 / 10:51 am

      Thanks, Tippy. There’s plenty to wrap one’s tendrils around, if a kiwi were so inclined. It’s like trying to enforce a curfew with a kid who climbs out his bedroom window. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of their wildness… Kigs? Curr-Wees? Kroses? Stay tuned. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan August 6, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Marissa. Oh yeah, they were caught pink-handed! An argument against arranged marriage; love wants what it wants. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. chevvy8 August 6, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Free love indeed and following hot off the Garden of Eden. Well now you’ve got my head turning just thinking about what kiwi’s look like. I just bought three the other day. Their not cheap so it would be good if yours would bear fruit. I have two fig trees next to each other. Fortunately, this past season they were madly in love though I think the birds harvested them more than we did. I have two overpopulated lemon trees just ripe for the picking at the moment. Now that wanton garden of yours – I hope you and hubby have a bench there. 😉😉 Great write Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan August 6, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks, Chev. Yeah, we’re rid of the snake, but the depravity remains. Sounds like your Kiwis will be having a threesome… well, if there is any chemistry between them. Fresh figs are delightful, but ours won’t ripen unless we make it to mid-October without a hard freeze. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Too bad it is still hot chocolate season in your part of the world. Hubby and I do indeed have a bench in our garden, but we dare not sit there too long, lest the Kiwis wrap their tentacles around us. Have a lovely Sunday! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 August 7, 2017 / 1:29 am

        Ha!ha!ha! hey have some fun – sit on that bench!😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. L. T. Garvin, Author August 7, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Joan, you are absolutely hysterical! I had a good laugh over this. I had no idea about Kiwis! I lucked into purchasing a nice container of (the fruit) for a good price at Aldi’s the other day. They are one of the utmost top sources of vitamin C. That He-Kiwi, man, he sounds like a player, alright. I wish I had a garden. We have huge shade trees that shade over 95% of our small yard, so no chance of growing much of anything with such limited sunlight. I have a potted hibiscus that does well in a small patch of sun. Do you happen to have a Kiwbiscus by chance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan August 7, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      Thanks, Lana. I realized as we were putting a Kiwi in the cart that its tag said “FEMALE” and recommended we buy it a mate. Not sure how you tell them apart? They are viney, like grapes, and like to curl around things, so we planted them on either side of a pretty wrought-iron arbor. When they didn’t get the hint, we zip-tied their arms together over the arbor. Still, no fruit. Some trees take a while to produce, so we gave them time… like, seven years. This year, the vines are going every which way but loose, grasping every other plant in a fifteen-foot radius. If I had a hibiscus plant, no doubt, He-Wi would be flirting with it. In your shoes, I’d set a glass jar of sun tea in the 5% sun, and enjoy it later, on ice, in the 95% shade. In our town, people with especially small or shady yards can rent or use community garden plots. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. T. Garvin, Author August 7, 2017 / 7:30 pm

        Oh Joan, ha ha….you KNOW I have iced tea! Did you ever stop to think that the containers were marked wrong and you either ended up with two female or two male trees? Just sayin’ ha ha! You are just way too funny!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan August 8, 2017 / 12:46 pm

        Actually, Lana, that thought did cross my mind…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Quirky Girl August 22, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    Great. Now I’ll never be able to look at kiwis the same, now that I’ve learned there are he-wis and she-wis. Are their offspring called wee-wis? 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan August 22, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      That was a surprise to me, too, Quirky. If we ever get any babies, wee-wis would be a great name. Or pee-wis? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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